Siemens to launch Definition AS CT line

Siemens Medical Solutions of Malvern, PA, is adding to its CT scanner family with the launch of Somatom Definition AS, a new line of scanners available with up to 128 slices per rotation.

Definition AS comes in 40-, 64-, and 128-slice configurations, and uses conventional single-source CT architecture, as opposed to the dual-source design that Siemens introduced in 2005 with the launch of Somatom Definition.

Siemens said that the "AS" in the scanner's name stands for "adaptive scanner," and refers to the system's ability to adapt to the medical requirements of different types of patients, ranging from pediatric to obese to emergency situations. The scanner also actively manages radiation dose for exams, with an "active dose shield" dynamically removing unnecessary radiation dose, according to the company.

Definition AS uses Siemens x-ray tube technology that effectively doubles the scanner's slice coverage based on the number of channels in the detector. For example, Definition AS Plus, the 128-slice model, employs a 64-row detector, according to Peter Kingma, vice president of the CT division at Siemens. The scanner has 27 cm of detector coverage per gantry rotation, with a 200-cm maximum scan range, 78-cm gantry bore, and 650-lb patient weight limit.

Siemens will position the AS scanners as versatile systems that can perform all clinical applications, including cardiac imaging. The dual-source Definition, which is being rebranded as Somatom Definition Dual Source, will be positioned as the company's primary cardiac system. Definition Dual Source has temporal resolution of 83 msec, compared to 150 msec for Definition AS Plus, Kingma said.

The first Definition AS is being installed on November 19 at the Institute of Diagnostic Radiology at the University Erlangen-Nuremberg in Erlangen, Germany. The scanner has not yet received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is not commercially shipping in the U.S.

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